Focal Passage: Hosea 4:1-6, 12-14
We have all either engaged in or witnessed destructive behavior. Most of us are pretty logical people, right? If something is destructive to us – why do it? I can think of two reasons.
First, that behavior seems to meet some deeper need or satisfy us in some way. Two, one either doesn’t know it’s harmful or ignores its harm in pursuit of what it promises.
Behind all destructive behavior is idolatry. And just changing the behavior won’t stop the idolatry. While our idolatry may be revealed in our behavior, its root is found in our hearts.
As Tim Keller says, an idol is anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give what only God can give. Consider all the things the Lord accuses Israel of in Hosea 4. Pretty bad, huh? But remember that like Israel we also “play the [prostitute]” by turning to other things besides God to have our needs met.
Sure, we may not sacrifice animals on the tops of mountains. But, we will sacrifice our lives, family, and 10,000 other things to the gods of success, comfort, and power. Yet we are never satisfied.
The folly and emptiness of idol worship points us to the satisfaction found in the one true God.
False gods are not able to satisfy, but God is able to fill the deepest holes of our hearts with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Our success is found in Christ’s victory. Our comfort is found in His promises.
And, our power comes from His Spirit who gives us perception and understanding. All of these riches were purchased on the cross and sealed in the resurrection of Jesus. He took our shame and exchanged it for His glory.
Though we have sinned, through His blood we are found not guilty. In His love we are not left wanting.